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Chapter 1 (74 pp.): Rethinking Piracy - Media Piracy in Emerging Economies Report (by Joe Karaganis)

Chapter 1 (74 pp.): Rethinking Piracy - Media Piracy in Emerging Economies Report (by Joe Karaganis)

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Published by ElJay Arem
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Media Piracy in Emerging Economies is the first independent, large-scale study of music, film and software piracy in emerging economies, with a focus on Brazil, India, Russia, South Africa, Mexico and Bolivia.

Based on three years of work by some thirty-five researchers, Media Piracy in Emerging Economies tells two overarching stories: one tracing the explosive growth of piracy as digital technologies became cheap and ubiquitous around the world, and another following the growth of industry lobbies that have reshaped laws and law enforcement around copyright protection. The report argues that these efforts have largely failed, and that the problem of piracy is better conceived as a failure of affordable access to media in legal markets.
seen here: http://bit.ly/xxOd7x

Media Piracy in Emerging Economies is the first independent, large-scale study of music, film and software piracy in emerging economies, with a focus on Brazil, India, Russia, South Africa, Mexico and Bolivia.

Based on three years of work by some thirty-five researchers, Media Piracy in Emerging Economies tells two overarching stories: one tracing the explosive growth of piracy as digital technologies became cheap and ubiquitous around the world, and another following the growth of industry lobbies that have reshaped laws and law enforcement around copyright protection. The report argues that these efforts have largely failed, and that the problem of piracy is better conceived as a failure of affordable access to media in legal markets.

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Published by: ElJay Arem on Feb 01, 2012
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05/29/2015

Industry investments in piracy research emerged in the context of growing corporate activism
on IP issues in the late 1980s and 1990s—a period marked by the establishment of the USTR’s
Special 301 process in 1988 and the WTO (World Trade Organization) in 1994. Special 301

created a means for industry groups to formally complain about perceived defciencies in the IP

law and enforcement practices of other countries. The IIPA, a copyright industry association
founded in 1984 to advocate for stronger global IP policies, became the main intermediary
between industry research and the Special 301 process. By the early 1990s, the annual Special

301 report had become, at least with respect to copyright, a vessel for IIPA-compiled fndings
and policy recommendations and the primary means of translating industry views into offcial

US trade positions. For nearly two decades, the IIPA and the USTR have been, in key respects,
symbiotic organizations—the research and policy wings of a larger enterprise.
Industry research went global in the wake of Special 301. The Special 301 process created
demand for studies that could ground USTR recommendations, and industry groups mobilized

to produce them. These research efforts relied heavily on business networks and local affliates

maintained by the industry associations. The MPAA, representing Hollywood studios, and the

IFPI, a London-based association of record labels, had the most far-reaching international
networks, with local affliates or partners in most national markets. The BSA was founded in
1988 and quickly developed its own extensive network of affliates. The ESA was founded in

1994 and has a comparatively small international presence but nonetheless produced studies

in ten to twelve countries per year between the late 1990s and the mid-2000s.

funded by the International Chamber of Commerce—comes out well by this standard. None of the
work produced by the copyright industry groups makes a comparable effort.

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SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL • MEDIA PIRACY IN EMERGING ECONOMIES
SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL • MEDIA PIRACY IN EMERGING ECONOMIES

IIPA reports tend to focus on qualitative accounts of enforcement efforts and on prescriptions
for legislative and administrative reform. They detail successes and failures from the previous

year and evaluate them as signs of progress, good faith, or backsliding in the fght against piracy.

From the outset, they also introduced two quantitative benchmarks for piracy that acquired
tremendous importance in policy debates: (1) estimates of the rates of piracy in different

national markets and (2) estimates of the fnancial losses suffered by US industry in those

markets. Consistently, these numbers headlined Special 301 submissions and wider debates
about copyright and enforcement. They also acted as a universal solvent for widely differing

industry research inputs and methods—creating a perception of consistency and confdence
in the loss fgures, in particular, that the underlying research usually did not support. Where

the IFPI was wary of drawing conclusions about losses, for example, the RIAA—drawing on

the same data provided by local affliates—did calculate losses for countries it considered high-

priority targets for enforcement. Although the ESA avoids the language of losses in its reports,8

its estimates of pirated street sales—totaling some $3 billion in 2007—found their way into the
industry-loss column in IIPA reports.

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